Such a level of mobilization is unusual in a company where “usually the pressure from management is strong”, but “the employees have passed the stage of fear”, told AFP Dominique Chave, secretary general of the CGT. “private health”.

The employees on strike – some for a few hours, others for the whole day – are protesting against the decision announced in mid-May by the group’s management not to pay this year’s profit-sharing bonus, due to poorer financial results. than expected. This bonus had reached 750 euros net in 2020, then 350 euros in 2021, according to the majority union Arc-en-Ciel.

The abolition of the bonus in 2022 “was welcomed as a declaration of war”, especially since this bonus often allowed employees, who were very poorly paid, to finance their holidays, underlined Mr. Chave.

The company’s management told AFP on Friday that it hoped to pay this year an “exceptional purchasing power bonus” (Pepa), known as the “Macron” bonus, of 1,000 euros per employee. This decision was also recorded “even before the announcement” of the strike, according to management, in the turmoil since the release in January of the book-investigation “Les Fossoyeurs”.

The “Macron” bonuses, paid by companies, are exempt from tax and social security contributions. To be implemented, the system must however be validated by a government decree.

“For us, a Pepa bonus will not compensate for the profit-sharing bonus, especially since some employees may not be entitled to it,” Isabelle Signori, elected Arc-en-Ciel and secretary of the CSE, told AFP. from Orpea. The Arc-en-Ciel union, which had already organized walkouts at the end of May, had called for a rally on Friday in front of the group’s headquarters in Puteaux (Hauts-de-Seine), alongside Unsa.

According to the unions, the anger of the employees has been revived by recent revelations in the media according to which several executives of Orpea have enriched themselves via complex financial arrangements in Switzerland, Luxembourg or in tax havens. “And we have nothing? We can’t hear that anymore!” Karima Mokeddem, Unsa union representative, who participated in the rally in Puteaux, told AFP.

A delegation of union officials was received on Friday morning, according to the management, which “committed to overhauling wage policy and renewing social dialogue”. The company has also promised to modify the terms and conditions for granting the incentive bonus, so that it no longer depends solely on the annual financial results.